Learning and Sharing Together Makes Connected Scotland Event a Success.

It's hoped the day has set up clubs, centres, individuals and organisations across the country in good stead for the season ahead
06 Mar 24
Images from Connected Scotland at the Dewars Centre on the 2nd of March 2024

It certainly was a busy day at the Dewars Centre in Perth,  with over 70 representatives from across the boating community came together for our ‘Connected Scotland’ event to talk all things around the development of our sport and activities, covering the topics that matter most to you.

By bringing as many people together as possible, we wanted to create a valuable opportunity for our RYA affiliates to stay up to date on what each other are up to, keeping you in the loop. In a series of forums and workshops a  number of topics were covered to help affiliates overcome challenges or find opportunities in their activities. 

In addition, Saturday saw the official launch of our new club development framework – ‘On Course for the Future.’

You can check out the new framework, On Course for the Future in detail here, and get in touch with your Regional Development Officer with any questions:

North – Brian Pahlmann - brian.pahlmann@ryascotland.org.uk

East – Rhys Gorman - rhys.gorman@ryascotland.org.uk

West – Laura Cowan - laura.cowan@ryascotland.org.uk

Images from Connected Scotland at the Dewars Centre on the 2nd of March 2024

And so, amongst opportunities to share ideas, take inspiration, and celebrate the many positives within sailing – a look ahead to what our sport could look like in years to come was central to discussions throughout the day.

Reflecting on Connected Scotland, Development Manager Liza Linton said:

“It’s been fantastic to see so many clubs, centres, and organisations come together and network, with a real desire to keep developing their offering. From our perspective, it’s also been a great chance to reflect on existing efforts and celebrate successes from within the community.

“Moving forwards, we’re looking forward to considering a wealth of feedback throughout our workshops and forums to come up with new ideas and solutions around a range of topics we know are important to our affiliates.”

The voluntary Planning and Environment Officer Graham Russell added.

"Connected Scotland provided a great opportunity for sharing experience and addressing issues being experienced by clubs and training centres. One of the afternoon workshops looked ahead to 2030 and beyond. Climate change is something that needs to be planned for even if it is unclear exactly what will happen. However, lots of other issues were mentioned with a key message being to talk to the relevant Regional Development Officer to take advantage of the support offered by the RYA Scotland team and the wider RYA."

Connected Scotland at the Dewars Centre in Perth

From changes to RYA affiliation, diversifying club and centre offerings, to preparing your organisation for 2030 and beyond – constructive collaboration amongst attendees was clear to see.

Between networking breaks, talks, workshops, and chatrooms – we managed to get into the nitty gritty of several topics that matter to you.

And, providing an insight from the wider RYA team were RYA Training Manager Richard Falk, and Director of Sport Development Rob Clarke who gave an update on the wider boating landscape, including current participation trends. 

Soaking it all up were Kayleigh Nicolson, Elaine Boyd and Andrea Davison from Whiteadder Watersports in East Lothian:

Kayleigh said: “I’ve met a lot of people who I’ve previously only met online, so it’s been nice to meet them in person.

“I was also looking forward to seeing the new development framework, because we’re currently undergoing a strategic review period – so incorporating that will be really good.”

Recognising a substantial gender split on the day, Andrea added:

“We came with four women, and there are loads of other ladies here which is fabby, and that’s different from the last 10 years or so.”

With several positives emerging throughout the day, Saturday was also a great time to reflect and build on previous success stories from within the community – with a look back at some of our RYA Scotland Impact Awards sparking conversation.

Nominations for the RYA Scotland Impact Awards remain open to help recognise and celebrate the people and communities that make our activities possible. 

Taking inspiration and momentum from these Impact Awards, we know that listening to a mix of perspectives is key in culturing success and positivity within the Scottish boating community.

That’s why we hosted our very first ‘Young Sailors Chatroom’ aimed at u25s. By bringing together a range of voices and experience levels from clubs and centres up and down the country – we found out what aspects of our sport work well, and what areas are considered challenges from a youth perspective.

Images from Connected Scotland at the Dewars Centre on the 2nd of March 2024

Robin Francis, Chief Instructor at Ancrum Outdoor Centre was keen to get involved in our youth chatroom:

“I think it’s important for youngsters to be involved in the conversation. Not only to have their feedback taken on board, but to be involved in decision making.

“They see things with fresh perspectives and can come up with wild and wonderful solutions to problems that you might have been sitting on for years.”

Moving forwards, we aim to use this initial session to establish a group of young voices, to continue informing and guiding our RYA Scotland Governance by informing our board via our U25 Director, Yasmin Price, who helped deliver the session with Louis Gallagher, the Scottish ClubSport Youth Director. 

Images from Connected Scotland at the Dewars Centre on the 2nd of March 2024

If you’re under 25 and would like your voice to be heard, keep an eye on our social media accounts for future opportunities.

And, watch this space for our next Connected Scotland event, with a provisional date of November 2nd 2024.

There are more regualr opportunities to catch up with the P&D  team with monthly Connected Calls on the first Wednesday of each month.